Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Congratulations to Ruksana on winning the Learning Life Skills Individual Award! She has been recognised with the award for her efforts as part of Adult Learners’ Week. Here’s a photo of her with her well-deserved award during the ceremony.

Read more about Ruksana’s journey below featured in East End Life below:

4 Ruksana begumDeemed to old for free access to a mainstream school at 18, Ruksana Begum spoke very little English. Two years later and with the help of a community centre, she has been recognised with an award for her efforts as part of Adult Learners’ Week, which takes place on June 14-20.

Two years later and with the help of a community centre, she has been recognised with an award for her efforts as part of Adult Learners’ Week, which takes place on June 14-20.

She was named as the winner of the Learning Life Skills Individual Award and will receive her award in a ceremony at

Ruksana said: “It takes time and energy to learn the skills needed for work, so I was determined to learn English and develop new skills to help me get a job.

“I also wanted to make my family proud as I was aware that my younger siblings needed a role model to look up to.”

Ruksana, from Bethnal Green, has improved her language skills thanks to Heba, which provides training for women from a range of cultural backgrounds.

The centre helped her to complete three entry level English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “The achievements of this year’s NIACE Adult Learners’ Week winners show the positive change education can make.

“I am a big fan of Adult Learners’ Week and the contribution it makes in celebrating the people who have embraced education in adulthood and in encouraging those who are considering starting out on a similar journey.”


Sophie Morton , Reporter
Saturday, June 14, 2014
2:00 PM


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Imrana’s Story

My name is Imrana. I come from Gulap Gonj, an area in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It’s all lakes and tea gardens. It’s very beautiful. I came here in 1998 on a spouse visa. My family arranged my marriage for me and I never thought about saying yes or no. Here in London, speaking English was hard for me. We learn in school back home but when I came here it was completely different – I couldn’t communicate with people. With Heba’s help I have improved my speaking, reading and writing in English. Now I can communicate by myself its better. I want to become a nursery teacher.

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Fathema’s Story

My name is Fathema I came here in 2007. When I came to London I had eating problem and also problem with my speaking English.
When I came to Heba I felt it’s not like other colleges. I feel like all the staff don’t see us as outsiders. Heba belongs to us too. When I first time came to Heba I did not speak English but now I can speak English and Heba helped me to improve my English and my eating problem is better.
My dream in future I want to be English teacher to help other people like me.

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Sayeda’s Story

My name is Sayeda. I came in this country in 1981. When I first time I came here I didn’t like the weather and I didn’t like my soft squashy bed so I slept on the floor!
The things I needed were English Exam, positive thinking and motivation. At Heba, everybody was help me so this make me feel like could change my life. I got my English exam and I got more motivation and positive thinking from my friends and teacher.
My dream, in the future I will learn to drive. My teacher showed me how to practice the theory test on the internet and my son is a driving instructor.

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Mina’s Story

Hi all my name is Mina Khanom, I am 30 years old. I am British Bengali – I grew up here in the UK. The reason why I came to Heba is to explore different options for my life. I don’t have a job at the moment but I want to work as a team in a group and like to share my ideas and thoughts. I would like to help people who came from different backgrounds. I would like to support the office and everyone in the project. I want everyone to support me and help me what I do. I hope I gain knowledge and personal skills and have a good value. I want to walk for Heba to raise money for this centre.

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Ruksana’s Story

My name is Ruksana Rose Begum. I arrived in October 2011 with my family and I was 18 so they told me I was too old to get a place in school. I was sad because I was good at school. I started looking for something to do to learn English and learn skills because I have to get a job; I have to do something.
I joined Heba, worked hard and finished 2 English levels in 6 months because I did voluntary work in the office and the classroom so I got more English practice.
I am going to take exams for the 3rd level in July. My dream is to get back my education. In Bangladesh I thought I was going to finish school, go to college, go to university, do it the normal way in my own country. Now everything is changed but I can still get to university, just by a different way: working, getting qualifications and learning English until I am ready. Maybe I will get there a bit later but I will get there.

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Fozor Bibi’s Story

I come from Palpur Barigow in Sylhet, Bangladesh. I came here in 1988 because of marriage. Cold weather was my biggest problem. I didn’t come out from my home and this didn’t help me find friends and learn English. When my husband died I was alone.
My neighbour told me about Heba. At first I didn’t want to go out and see people but then it got easier. I became more friendly, improved my speaking and more importantly I got a boost in confidence.
My dream is to improve my English a little bit more so that I can understand everyone and have even more friends.

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Hameeda’s Story

My name is Hameeda Lodin, I am from Afghanistan. I came to London in 2005 because of my husband. It was a very difficult time for me because I had some issues with my husband, and also I could not speak English. All my family were back home and I did not have anyone here to support me and i felt so lonely. When my son was 3 years old I found out he has autism, it was a very emotional time for me but with a little bit of help I became stronger. After sometime I joined English courses and I made a lot of friends. I decided to leave my husband as he was consuming drugs which is something children should not be around. At the moment it is just me and my son. I currently study Business Administration level 2 at Hackney College and do my work placement at Heba. My dream is to finish my studies and find a permanent job as receptionist. I would also like to help other Asian women who are in similar situations like me. I hope I can find a good husband in the future who will support me and help me.

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Rabia’s Story

rabias picture

My name is Rabia. I am a British Bangladeshi citizen. I have chosen to work in Heba because I find it to be very rewarding. I want to be able to help women who have not had many opportunities in their life and help boost their confidence. The reason I would like to do the sponsored walk is because it will be a good chance to team up with a Heba women and encourage her to walk 10 km and feel good about the outcome. I believe I can support everyone in Heba and get the sort of support I need back from them. Working in Heba is amazing, I love helping out in the office and planning fundraisers, it makes me happy that I can use my personal skills to help others. I am hoping to gain more experience and skills and use it for the future. My dreams for the future are to have a permanent job and be independent and help other people who don’t have much experience and education.

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